It seems almost unbelievable that
simply sowing seeds of thankfulness
could transform your life,
producing abundant joy, peace, and love —
but scriptures and studies tell us it is true.
Do you want to find out for yourself?
Beginning tomorrow we have
31 days leading up to Thanksgiving day.
So I challenge you to join us.
I’ll have a simple track for those whose time is short but who
want to be with us on this journey.
And I’ll have some going deeper assignments
Either way, you will experience beautiful fruit
and develop a habit of gratitude,
grooming a good path for your feet by Thanksgiving Day.
Many of you have done this kind of thing before, some inspired by Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts.”
When she began her simple habit of writing down thanks,
she was amazed at the transformation in her heart.
A month in, her friends were noticing, telling her:
And so will we.
Neurology has discovered something happens to a person’s brain who has developed a habit of gratitude.
Jan Silvious explains why in this short clip.
And it will be such fun to do it together.
Every time you give thanks, it is a pinpoint of light.
Together we can make such beauty,
penetrating the darkness of our souls and worlds,
for the darkness can never stop the light from coming through.
Sunday: Get Ready, Get Set
- Will you join us? If so, why?
- Have you done anything like this in the past? If so, what, and how did it impact you?
- Ask God here to help you stay the course and to transform your heart.
- How did God meet you on this Sabbath day?
Monday: Day 1. Don’t Let His Mercies Fade From Your Heart
Repeatedly in Scripture God asks us to forget not what He has done for us. This will be our theme this week, for the Lord not only gives us insight as to why we should remember, but also shows us what things are particularly helpful to remember.
Deut: 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
5. Meditate on Deuteronomy 4:10 and articulate the main command.
6. With this same verse, list several ways we can keep from forgetting what God has done for us.
7. Telling our children what God has done for us helps us to not forget as well. Write down one thing God showed up magnificently in your life that you could tell your children or the next generation.
Going Deeper: Christmas is just two months away, so you might consider making a photo book of remembrances of God at work in your life to give to your children or grandchildren. I was inspired to make books for some of my grandchildren by my friend Twila who wrote the story of her grandson Henry’s miraculous birth. The doctors kept telling his mother Elizabeth she had miscarried and they needed to do a D & C. The Spirit told her not to do it. And beautiful Henry was rescued. Here are a couple of pictures from our books.
8. If you do this, we’d love to hear about your plan!
Tuesday: Day 2: Remember The Day When You Stood Before the Lord at Horeb
10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.” (Deut. 4:10)
In our women’s Bible study we were contemplating ways we could suffer for Christ besides persecution. One woman said that when we receive the discipline of the Lord, we are suffering for Christ. I think that is true, for it is painful to receive criticism, it causes us to suffer, but if we repent, then our lives glorify the Lord, for we are turning from our idols (idolatry is always the sin beneath the sin) to the Living God. God disciplines us to change us, and He does not want us to forget what we learned, lest we return to those destructive ways.
When God brought the Israelites before Him at Horeb, He had some stern things to say to them, for they had forgotten His great deeds, turned to idols, and become stiff-necked. Let’s consider what happened before that day of a stern rebuke at Horeb. For these were things that God did for them that they let fade from their memory.
9. Name two big ways God showed His power and care for you that you do not want to let fade from your memory.
10. We are created to worship, so if we don’t worship God, we will worship something.
A. To what did the Israelites turn to when Moses was too long on the mountain? (Exodus 32)
B. When we forget to give thanks to God for what He has done in our lives, why is it we are then prone to idolatry?
11. Read Exodus 33:1-6
A. How did God express His anger toward the people in Exodus 33:1-3?
B. St John of the Cross put it this way: Our God is a shy lover. When He sees us in the arms of another, He backs up.
C. How did the people respond to God’s rebuke in Exodus 33:4-6?
12. What do you learn from these passages on why it is important to train ourselves to remember and be grateful to God?
13. Share a time when you repented as a result of the Lord’s discipline — and explain why it is important you remember times when He disciplined you.
Wednesday: Day 3: How To Overcome Grumbling
14. Read Exodus 16:1-3
What were the Israelites grumbling about and what were they forgetting?
15. Read Exodus 16:4-8
A. What did God tell Moses He was going to do?
B. What reason do you think God had for providing manna for so many years?
C. What did Moses tell the people in verse 8 and how could you apply this?
16. Read Ephesians 4:28-29
A. What is the thief to stop doing, and with what is he to replace that behavior?
B. What is the bad-mouthed person to stop doing, and with what is he to replace that behavior?
Thursday: Day 4: Watch and Reflect
17. What stood out to you from the above?
18. Name three simple things can you be grateful for right now.
Friday: Day 5: Practicing Gratitude
Challenge:Today, every time you start to complain, criticize, or grumble, replace that with gratitude. Also, from the moment you wake up to the moment you close your eyes for the night, continually give thanks to God for all the ways He sustains you, blesses you, and give you the fruit of His Spirit. Singing may help. Check in at mid-day and before bed and report.
19. Midday report — how have you done with practicing gratitude?
20. Evening report — how have you done with practicing gratitude?
Saturday: Day 6:
21. Do you feel you have begun to make a gratitude path for your feet? If so, share something about it.